I dare say

Whodunit

Senior Member
Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
What's correct or more formal? "I dare say" or "I daresay". On dictionary.com, "daresay" is listed as a normal word, (if I'm remembering correctly), and "dare say" is listed neither under "dare" nor under "say", (if I searched correctly). All in all, according to Google "I dare say" is about three times more common than "I daresay", but that doesn't proove anything. So, I'd like you to say and explain why you write what. :)

Thanks in advance.
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Greetings Who,

    I dare say, it's not used at all, either way, in modern AE! To my colonial ears, it sounds
    (1) British
    (2) old-fashioned
    (3) stuffy

    AE usage might include:

    -For sure! (colloquial, informal)
    -Absolutely/definitely/certainly! (ordinary speech)
    -If you give context and examples, I'll daresay I might be able to dredge up a few more AE equivalents.

    cheers,
    Cuchu
     

    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I was going to say (backed up by my OED) that 'daresay' is just plain incorrect, along the lines of 'alot' instead of 'a lot' (and, though many dispute this, 'alright' for 'all right'), but then I looked in a couple of dictionaries on line and found, as you did, that 'daresay' is listed as a verb, including in Webster's :eek: . Conclusion: maybe it's OK in American English.

    I'm still reeling from this, though. I mean, what are the other parts of this verb? I daresaid? He daresays? What a bizarreabomination.

    In British English, at least, you should say 'I dare say'.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Aupick said:
    I was going to say (backed up by my OED) that 'daresay' is just plain incorrect, along the lines of 'alot' instead of 'a lot' (and, though many dispute this, 'alright' for 'all right'), but then I looked in a couple of dictionaries on line and found, as you did, that 'daresay' is listed as a verb, including in Webster's :eek: . Conclusion: maybe it's OK in American British English.

    I'm still reeling from this, though. I mean, what are the other parts of this verb? I daresaid? He daresays? What a bizarreabomination.

    In British English, at least, you should say 'I dare say'.

    Sorry Aupick...This one belongs to the Empire, not the colonies...or maybe it's just a lexicographer's nightmare that made it past the proofreaders.;)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    :thumbsup: Aupick:thumbsup:
    Not sure about the other parts - it almost certainly follows a different set or rules.
    Daresay: daresays, daresayed, daresaying.
    If I could get my hands on whoever darewrited that abomination in the first place....
    And I don't care whose dictionary it does or doesn't appear in. Or how many millions of others choose to use it.
    I won't.
    Shudder.
    Pleugghh!!
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    cuchuflete said:
    Greetings Who,

    I dare say, it's not used at all, either way, in modern AE! To my colonial ears, it sounds
    (1) British
    (2) old-fashioned
    (3) stuffy

    AE usage might include:

    -For sure! (colloquial, informal)
    -Absolutely/definitely/certainly! (ordinary speech)
    -If you give context and examples, I'll daresay I might be able to dredge up a few more AE equivalents.

    cheers,
    Cuchu

    It is not used by itself (in American English), but it can be used to introduce a clause (albeit mostly in writing, and quite rarely at that).

    I daresay he ignored my invitation to the party.

    As for the writing, I personally write it as one word, but it's acceptable as two.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Aupick said:
    I was going to say (backed up by my OED) that 'daresay' is just plain incorrect, along the lines of 'alot' instead of 'a lot' (and, though many dispute this, 'alright' for 'all right'), but then I looked in a couple of dictionaries on line and found, as you did, that 'daresay' is listed as a verb, including in Webster's :eek: . Conclusion: maybe it's OK in American English.

    I'm still reeling from this, though. I mean, what are the other parts of this verb? I daresaid? He daresays? What a bizarreabomination.

    In British English, at least, you should say 'I dare say'.

    It doesn't really have other forms because it's kind of like a fixed expression. It is not literally referring to the act of "daring to say"; after all, most speakers do not introduce their statements with such redundancies as "I say that...," "I vocalize that...," etc.

    "I daresay" is an expression meaning that what I am about to say may or may not be true; however, it is quite likely based on the given circumstances and I am therefore being bold and going ahead and assuming it. At least that's how I'd use it. For the past, you can easily say "I dared to say," and for the third person, you can say "he dared to say" - but you wouldn't really say these things anyway.

    Also, Aupick, if you're so averse to these bizarreabominations (writingwordstogether or sep arat in gth eminc orrectl y), I'm surprised you wrote "on line," as I believe the standard is "online." :)
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    panjandrum said:
    :thumbsup: Aupick:thumbsup:
    Not sure about the other parts - it almost certainly follows a different set or rules.
    Daresay: daresays, daresayed, daresaying.
    If I could get my hands on whoever darewrited that abomination in the first place....
    And I don't care whose dictionary it does or doesn't appear in. Or how many millions of others choose to use it.
    I won't.
    Shudder.
    Pleugghh!!

    You won't, but I don't think it's incorrect. I believe I've seen it on numerous occasions.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    cuchuflete said:
    Please give us examples and sources. I need something to fry with the tomato horn worms.

    pleugggggh!!

    I don't recall specific examples, but there are 238,000 Google results at your disposal. :)

    What I was trying to say is that I've seen it in trusted sources. Since the dictionary also recognizes it (without dubbing it as "regional," "archaic," or "informal"), I can only assume that it is correct.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Daresay is one word-- I thought everyone knew that. There's another one like it, but I keep thinking of vouchsafe instead.

    I use it sometimes, not just rarely, and sometimes with not even mildly facetious tone. It strikes a kind of comic-formal attitude, but I find it useful even in informal speech when my supposition about something runs slightly counter to what everyone else is speculating, and usually idly so, about it.

    By the way, it means "guess," or "suppose," I suppose. Has nothing to do with daring. The reason you find "dare say" by googling or using that supposably more scholarly British nose-counting engine-- is because you can dare anything and say so, including "saying." To investigate my point I googled "dare to say" and got 124,000 hits-- and "dare I say" for a whopping 672,000! Again, nothing to do with daresaying (which only got 48 hits, most of them involving sarcastic questions about the root word, I daresay).

    I wish I could think of that other word that's like daresay-- I can safely vouch that it's not vouchsafe, which by the way I doubt anybody uses.

    Drat, I missed a bet-- should've daresaid not, instead of doubted.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Gainsay it was, it can't be gainsaid. Thanks-- that would've popped into my head in about an hour and 45 minutes, spoiling my nap.

    The winter coat was a sneak preview, and won't be standard issue until about mid-autumn. I was just showing Panj how unflushed I really am, even under the most reddening conditions.

    Thanks for mentioning that word that was starting to rattle around in my head-- there, I said it again.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    As I understand the meaning of the bizarreabomination it is pretending to mean exactly the same as I would mean if I said, "I dare say ..."
    I dare say someone will contradict me, but hey that's OK.

    Gainsay, of course, is different - and perfectly respectable.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    foxfirebrand said:
    Daresay is one word-- I thought everyone knew that. There's another one like it, but I keep thinking of vouchsafe instead.

    I use it sometimes, not just rarely, and sometimes with not even mildly facetious tone. It strikes a kind of comic-formal attitude, but I find it useful even in informal speech when my supposition about something runs slightly counter to what everyone else is speculating, and usually idly so, about it.

    By the way, it means "guess," or "suppose," I suppose. Has nothing to do with daring. The reason you find "dare say" by googling or using that supposably more scholarly British nose-counting engine-- is because you can dare anything and say so, including "saying." To investigate my point I googled "dare to say" and got 124,000 hits-- and "dare I say" for a whopping 672,000! Again, nothing to do with daresaying (which only got 48 hits, most of them involving sarcastic questions about the root word, I daresay).

    I wish I could think of that other word that's like daresay-- I can safely vouch that it's not vouchsafe, which by the way I doubt anybody uses.

    Drat, I missed a bet-- should've daresaid not, instead of doubted.

    Precisely. I couldn't have put it better. I use the word quite frequently too, especially in these forums. :eek:
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    panjandrum said:
    As I understand the meaning of the bizarreabomination it is pretending to mean exactly the same as I would mean if I said, "I dare say ..."
    I dare say someone will contradict me, but hey that's OK.

    Gainsay, of course, is different - and perfectly respectable.

    Here I am to contradict! ;)

    I think "daresay" has a connotation of its own. As FFB said, it's more like "I suppose" (with a slight undertone of rebellion).

    I agree, though, that "gainsay" is different; there is no such thing as "gain say" (well, unless you mean "acquire influence"). :)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    elroy said:
    Here I am to contradict! ;)

    I think "daresay" has a connotation of its own. As FFB said, it's more like "I suppose" (with a slight undertone of rebellion).
    Yes - that's more or less exactly what "I dare say..." means. I have not, yet, found any distinction of meaning.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    panjandrum said:
    Yes - that's more or less exactly what "I dare say..." means. I have not, yet, found any distinction of meaning.

    Well, I think the idea is that "daresay" does not mean "dare to say," which may be why it gradually acquired its single-word status.

    Of course "dare say" means the same thing because essentially both "daresay" and "dare say" are a pictoral representation of the same verbal utterance.

    Do you see where I'm coming from? :confused:
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    panjandrum said:
    Yes - that's more or less exactly what "I dare say..." means. I have not, yet, found any distinction of meaning.

    Oscar Wilde could guess and presuppose and daresay a lot-- but there were things he didn't dare say.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    OK - I'm interested - purely from a scientific and analytical perspective:)

    For me, "I dare say..." means exactly what I understand "I daresay ..." means to you. I understand this to have a particular idiomatic meaning. If I wanted to suggest that my saying this thing was daring, I would say - as Elroy suggested - "I dare to say ...."

    How does your daresay conjugate (do we still do this?)? Is it:
    I daresay,
    You daresay,
    He daresays?

    How does its past tense work?

    OR, as I rather suspect, does this word - like my sense of "I dare say...", really only exist as a first person present tense?
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    panjandrum said:
    OR, as I rather suspect, does this word - like my sense of "I dare say...", really only exist as a first person present tense?

    I daresay it does. To me there's a sense of "it wouldn't surprise me if" about it. You couldn't very well say "it wouldn't surprise him if..." Again, nothing to do with daring, but I guess you've already bought into that idea.

    The reason for a verb that's only in the first-person singular? It's an opining sort of expression that comes from the guestimation part of your cerebral cortex whence you venture to speculate about what can't be verified. That being the case, it doesn't lend itself to indirect or reported speech.

    I can't very well speak about what he says "I daresay" about, is a clear if not quite cogent way of putting it.

    There's a modern tendency, especially among the young and "postmodern"-minded, to scrap reported speech altogether, and when faced with the necessity to narrate-- they reenact rather than relate.

    "I was like...duhh!..." uh, sort of thing.
    "And then he goes...[mimick what was said]...and I'm like...no way!"
    (for that "no way" part you drop back into your own voice.)

    Of course, you can say "and then he was like...duuhhh?" With more authority than you can say, "he then daresaid duuhhh." This will require further thought.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    foxfirebrand said:
    I daresay it does. To me there's a sense of "it wouldn't surprise me if" about it. You couldn't very well say "it wouldn't surprise him if..." Again, nothing to do with daring, but I guess you've already bought into that idea.

    The reason for a verb that's only in the first-person singular? It's an opining sort of expression that comes from the guestimation part of your cerebral cortex whence you venture to speculate about what can't be verified. That being the case, it doesn't lend itself to indirect or reported speech.

    I can't very well speak about what he says "I daresay" about, is a clear if not quite cogent way of putting it.

    There's a modern tendency, especially among the young and "postmodern"-minded, to scrap reported speech altogether, and when faced with the necessity to narrate-- they reenact rather than relate.

    "I was like...duhh!..." uh, sort of thing.
    "And then he goes...[mimick what was said]...and I'm like...no way!"
    (for that "no way" part you drop back into your own voice.)

    Of course, you can say "and then he was like...duuhhh?" With more authority than you can say, "he then daresaid duuhhh." This will require further thought.

    My thoughts exactly...as per post #8.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    elroy said:
    I don't recall specific examples, but there are 238,000 Google results at your disposal. :)

    I daresay you've hit on something quite appropriate there:).

    I've never heard it spoken by any American other than William Buckley!

    I'm not casting aspersions on the word or the speaker, whom I respected despite his atrocious politics. It just amazes me to learn that there is such a verb. Thank heavens it belongs to the cousins on the other side of the puddle.

    "Over here we have 'duhhhh!' which is far less literate," he daresaid.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    The reason y'all can't find the past tense of daresay is because you've been looking it up under da- instead of du-. No, I don't mean duuhhh...

    The proper past-tense expression is "I durstsay."
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    He durst tell truths:
    infinitive simple past....participle
    Dare Dared/durst Dared/durst

    ". The landlady being a pretty woman, but I durst not take notice of her, her husband being there. " From The Diary of Samuel Pepys...entry for 1661.

    I have found a multitude of citations including "durst say" but not one with "durstsay",
    though given FFB's asseveration
    foxfirebrand said:
    The proper past-tense expression is "I durstsay."

    But his Lordship said so, and then who durst say the
    contrary?
    Much muttering there was about this sudden death of hers, but no man durst say a word for his life.
    Source:
    Letter of estate sent to his friend HR in Gracious Street, wherein is laid open the practices and devices of Robert Sutton, alias Dudley, Earl of Leicester, his packing with England's enemies abroad, his entrapping of the Duke of Norfolk, his rapines, murders, and seditious treacheries, with other his detestable and abominable actions, odious in the sight both of
    God and man, laid open by way of circumlocution.

     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Thanks for explaining where I get such unaccountable notions as "durstsay"-- it's hereditary! The Suttons you mention happen to be family of mine-- behavior such as Pepys describes may well be one reason they hopped the pond some time before that diary entry was made. Else I had grown up pitching googlies instead of googling, and saying things like "Bob's your uncle!"
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Following all the very entertaining exchange of views, I had a look in my New Fowler:)

    "I dare say. This phrase means (a) I make bold to say, I venture to assert; (b) I grant that much (I dare say, but you are still wrong). It is being increasingly written as I daresay, and said with the main emphasis on dare."
    New Fowler's Modern English Usage - Oxford edition.

    Out of interest I looked in my original Fowler, the 1926 edition. It contains some interesting additional points:

    "Dare say is a specialised phrase with the weakened sense incline to think, not deny, admit as likely, or ironically in the same sense as the slang says you."
    It suggests that the transition to daresay is to avoid ambiguity - as between I dare say and I dare to say. This makes sense to me.

    [magnanimous gesture]From all that has been said and I have found, I see no significant difference between I daresay ... and I dare say .... It seems to me that this is one of these personal preference things where those who want to say daresay should be allowed to continue (if they must) while those of us who find it distasteful just have to grit our teeth - and vice versa.[/magnanimous gesture.]
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I think this discussion is much the richer because you dare naysay, Panj. I wouldn't have you anyother waysay.
     

    Isotta

    Senior Member
    English
    I think cuchu is making blanket statements about "daresay" usage in America. I heard it quite often, especially in statements containing somewhat sardonic humor.

    I've enjoyed reading this thread.

    Isotta.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Isotta said:
    I think cuchu is making blanket statements about "daresay" usage in America. I heard it quite often, especially in statements containing somewhat sardonic humor.

    I've enjoyed reading this thread.

    Isotta.

    I dare say she's right. And she's found the mothholes in the blankets as well.

    Quite often, eh? Fortnightly? ;)

    cuchu
     

    knarr

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I found "daresay" in At the back of the north wind, 1871. I guess it's just very old fashoned.
     

    johndot

    Senior Member
    English - England
    :thumbsup: Aupick:thumbsup:
    Not sure about the other parts - it almost certainly follows a different set or rules.
    Daresay: daresays, daresayed, daresaying.
    If I could get my hands on whoever darewrited that abomination in the first place....
    And I don't care whose dictionary it does or doesn't appear in. Or how many millions of others choose to use it.
    I won't.
    Shudder.
    Pleugghh!!

    I’ve just come across this post (which I fully agree with) and it struck me, panjandrum, that it bears an uncanny resemblance to the way in which one of the other Forum members reacts, sometimes, when he comes across a point of grammar he doesn’t agree with. Remarkable!
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Righty-ho, let's have a look at the corpora.

    British National Corpus
    daresay - 172
    dare say - 259

    Corpus of Contemporary American English
    daresay - 133
    dare say - 187

    We both prefer the two-word version.
     
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